Summer Study Tour
|Homepage:||Click to visit|
Summer Study Tour
|Language of Instruction:||English||Language Requirement:||None|
|Illinois Sponsor:||ACES||Credit or Not for Credit:||For credit|
|Foreign Institution:||University of Botswana?s Okavango Research Institute|
Summer Study Tour
Communities & Wildlife Conservation Summer Research Internship
Kasane and Maun, Botswana
Field Sites and Accomodation
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Withdrawal, Change of Program, or Cancellation Policies
Health, Safety, and Pre-Departure
Wildtrax presents students with a hands-on research experience through a 2-month summer module on Communities & Wildlife Conservation Research Field Training Studies in Botswana. We have teamed up with the only wildlife monitoring organizations in Africa, Wildlife Africa Conservation Team (Wildlife ACT), to provide students access to sustainable research and monitoring projects. Their mission is to save our planets’ endangered and threatened wildlife and wildlands from extinction and Wildtrax wants to create opportunities for students to be part of this mission. Both entities identify science and education as key components to the sustainable utilization and management of wildlife resources; thus, our collaboration achieves a comprehensive study abroad program in the Okavango Delta and Chobe Enclave Region of Botswana.
Wildlife ACT has two main research initiatives in Botswana, implementing a standardized biodiversity monitoring protocol for Botswana’s Department of Wildlife & National Parks and conducting human-wildlife conflict studies and implementing mitigation strategies with the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute (ORI).
The 9 week course objectives are to equip students with an ability to decipher and adapt applicable research techniques to field studies. Overviews of research theory, hypothesis construction, methods, field sampling techniques, data management and analysis techniques are included in a 1-week lecture series presented by ORI and Wildlife ACT. The course includes both scientific and social aspects to data collection in an attempt to prepare students for their interactions with communities and different cultures. Students are then placed for two 3-week periods at different research sites where they apply their new skills, completing mini-research projects on the data they collect. The programs’ objectives will be fulfilled through students’ participation in Wildlife ACT’s two main research focuses and thus provide a constructive feedback system for successful conservation efforts in Africa.
- Learn valuable wildlife management and conservation principles
- Understand the challenges facing wildlife conservation & community based natural resource management
- Observe the ecological organization and biodiversity of the Okavango Delta and surrounding ecosystems
- Learn and begin to develop field research techniques and associated skills
- Understand the social aspects of conservation science
- Understand and apply research in the field through:
Research design & methodologies
Data collection & analysis
Application and implementation of data
Long-term sustainable conservation management projects
Lonely Planet Info on Botswana:
Okavango Delta Information:
The program is open to students with good academic standing from all UIUC colleges, although ACES students will receive first priority.
- Must register for NRES 285, which is an 8 week course offered in the Spring semester
- This course is worth 6 credits.
- On campus meetings: TBA
- Date/place/time of meetings: TBA
Robert Lee Schooley
Dr. Schooley is an Associate Professor in the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Group Flight: As part of the Program Fee, the ACES Abroad will organize a group flight for this course. All group flights will be departing from and arriving at O'Hare Airport. Very few exceptions are made for opting out of the group flight.
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Required Pre-departure Courses
This discovery course explores the ecology, people and wildlife of Botswana. Introduction to Dangerous Wildlife BehaviorAn introduction to dangerous wildlife you will encounter and how to deal with them from a vehicle and on foot. The course also includes understanding vital warning signals from these species and how best to respond to these signals, ensuring your safety while in the field.
Understanding Elephant Conservation in Southern Africa
Elephant conservation is a ‘hot-topic’ in Africa at the moment, with many different views and opinions on what to be done about over-population in some areas and intensive poaching in others. In this publication Prof Rudi van Aarde, from the University of Pretoria, addresses some of the less than factual generalizations that dominate discussions on elephant management.
This program aims to provide students with researching and learning opportunities and to facilitate and manage practical research contributing towards management interventions and developing biodiversity conservation in Africa.
Okavango Research Institute (ORI) Research Field Training Courses
The courses will utilize ORI’s comprehensive knowledge and unique location to focus the political, managerial, and practical dimensions of development and conservation. Based on a thorough theoretical grounding, the students will gain first-hand experience through case studies, practical assignments, excursions and discussions with stakeholders.
Human Wildlife Conflict Project
Students will be assisting the ORI with research on human-wildlife conflict, which is a complex management and conservation issue in Botswana. Few studies have been conducted to fully understand the ecological and social patterns and underlying processes of human-wildlife interactions in arable agro-ecosystems in Botswana. Yet, information on spatial patterns, environmental predictors and socio-economic aspects of HWC are required in order to devise effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. This proposed project will concentrate investigations in HWC ‘hotspot’ areas of northern Botswana, namely the Okavango Delta in Ngamiland District, Chobe Enclave in Chobe District, and Makgadikgadi Pans in Boteti district.
This proposed project will concentrate investigations in HWC ‘hotspot’ areas of northern Botswana, namely the Okavango Delta in Ngamiland District, Chobe Enclave in Chobe District, and Makgadikgadi Pans in Boteti district. A country-wide assessment of status and trends of HWC will be made by exploring data compiled by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks over the past three decades. Additional data will be collected to validate the data previously collected by DWNP. Data from this project will contribute crucial information to the Government of Botswana about the processes and underlying patterns of HWC in hotspot areas. Such information will be useful in designing effective HWC mitigation strategies and suggesting alternative land use plans to reduce HWC, which is essential for the success of national and regional conservation strategies, such as the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area. The activities outlined will build capacity in the local communities, which will help to raise community awareness and responsibility for HWC situations.
The region on which we will be focusing our first HWC project site is in the Chobe Enclave. This diverse concession lies within the Chobe National Park and Chobe Forest Reserve, with the Linyanti and Chobe River creating its northern boundary with Namibia. This area is zoned as an agricultural, pastoral and wildlife management area creating complex human-wildlife conflict dynamics. This important wildlife corridor has a number of communities residing in it that are impacted by elephant, lion, leopard, hyena and other wildlife species.
Chobe Research Camp
Chobe students are based at the Van Thuyne Ridge Research Centre, which is located on a few tree islands nestled within the thatch grass vleis that the area is well known for. Student’s stay in twin dome tents or twin rooms and have communal toilet and laundry facilities. Meals are served in an open communal dining area shared with other scientists and researchers carrying out studies within the area. This area also boasts a small library and social area around the characteristic African campfire. A fully functional lab and computer room are also available at the camp with satellite internet connection.
Wildlife ACT has established a research camp to implement the standardized monitoring protocol in the Moremi Game Reserve, which forms the heart of the Okavango Delta. The area is zoned as an exclusive wildlife management area and forms the heart of Botswana’s eco- tourism activities, with thousands of visitors coming to the region every year. The region is home to important populations of endangered predators and threatened wildlife species, with population baseline monitoring data needed.
Okavango Khwai Research Camp
Okavango students will be based at Wildlife ACT’s Khwai Research Camp. The camp is situated on a small island in the swamps, accessed by a walkway bridge. Student’s stay in canvas walled rooms with thatched roofs which have en suite toilets and showers. It is important for students to realize that the conditions are simple with limited solar electricity supplies. Hot water is provided via solar geysers. Communal laundry facilities are available to students with detergent for hand-washing clothes provided. There is a communal kitchen and dining area, shared with other scientists and researchers carrying out studies at the institute. Meals will be prepared together with other Wildlife ACT students, with students taking turns in preparing meals and cleaning up. Food for three basic meals each day will be provided along with drinking water. We can cater for vegetarians, however NOT for vegans. If you have any other special dietary requirement you will be responsible for purchasing those food items.
For an Unofficial Budget of this program, please scroll to the top of this page and find the box labeled “Budget Sheets” and click on the semester/term during which you want to participate. Please read through the Unofficial Budget information, which also includes information on Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Program Fee Includes: airfare, accommodation, some meals, ground transportation, entrance fees, emergency medical insurance, and miscellaneous expenses. For a detailed budget, please click the "Budget Sheet" link above.
*Fees are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuations and the number of participants.
Total cost is ESTIMATED and is BEFORE scholarships.
Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities
Financial aid can be applied to the cost of the program. The amount of financial aid that is applicable to study abroad will depend on your financial aid package. Since there are many variables that determine how your financial aid package applies to study abroad, it is best that you consult with the study abroad financial aid advisor in the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss your individual financial aid package. Their email and more information on Financial aid can be found at academics.aces.illinois.edu/study-abroad/financial-aid
Eligible students may receive additional scholarships toward the program cost. The amount varies depending on the program destination. Scholarship amounts are announced when program fees for each program are announced. Non-ACES students should contact their college about scholarship opportunities. All participants should also apply for the Illinois for Illinois (I4I) Study Abroad Undergraduate Scholarship. For more information, click here www.studyabroad.illinois.edu/scholarships
ACES Students are eligible for additional funding through their college. The ACES Scholarship Application may have an earlier deadline than your study abroad program. Please check the ACES scholarship page for deadlines correlating to your program. More information about ACES scholarships can be found at academics.aces.illinois.edu/study-abroad/scholarships
For more information about general costs, please watch the First Steps Cost, Financial Aid, and Scholarship videos found here for tips and advice: studyabroad.illinois.edu/before-you-start
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To change to a different program during the application process, please e-mail email@example.com.
To withdraw or cancel your participation in a study abroad program, please visit this link to view the Withdrawal and Refund Policy (http://academics.aces.illinois.edu/study-abroad/policies)
You must have a valid passport to participate on this program with at least two blank VISA pages. If you do not already have a passport, or if it needs to be renewed, you must begin that process now, even before program acceptance.
You may also be required to get a visa for your program. Please consult the host country’s consulate website or a visa agency to determine whether or not a visa is required to travel to your destination country or countries.
More information about passports and visas can be found at http://academics.aces.illinois.edu/study-abroad/passports-visas
First Steps Info Session
Watch the First Steps videos found on our website www.studyabroad.illinois.edu/before-you-start or attend a First Steps Info Session in person. These resources will get you thinking about important themes to consider before selecting a program including: academics, housing, duration, location, and cost. You will learn how to research a program, understand cost (with a segment on scholarships and financial aid too), and even how to apply!
Click the "Apply Now" button on this web page to apply. Note that you will be charged a non-refundable application fee by clicking "Apply Now".
You may only apply to one program per term. Please consider your program options carefully before beginning a new program application. Each time you click "Apply Now" you will be charged a non-refundable application fee.
Program applications vary. This ACES-sponsored, faculty-led course abroad application may include:
- Photocopy of Passport or receipt verifying application or renewal of passport
- Signature verification form (downloadable from your online application)
- Essay questions
- Online questionnaires and online signature documents
- Letter of reference – done electronically (must me an academic advisor, professor, or TA)
All requirements must be completed by the Study Abroad Office deadlines: online materials are due by 11:59 PM on the deadline date; paper materials are due by 4:45 PM the following business day. The Study Abroad Office reviews program applications as a batch after the deadline has passed. The decision dates listed below indicate the earliest possible date that a student's application may be reviewed. Most decisions will be released two to three weeks after each deadline.
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Health, Safety, Pre-Departure
Health and Safety
The health and safety of students abroad is something that the University of Illinois takes very seriously, which is why the Study Abroad Office provides services that range from international insurance coverage to a 24-hour phone line to speak to an Advisor on Duty. These services can be found at www.studyabroad.illinois.edu/health-safety
Once you have been accepted into the program you may need to get a health consultation at McKinley Health travel and immunization unit (mckinley.illinois.edu/medical-services/immunization-allergy-travel-clinic) to discuss what immunization you need, get a travel kit, etc. See also www.cdc.gov/travel.
Before You Go
The “Before You Go” section on our website provides you with information on what to pack, money abroad, transportation, communicating with family members while abroad, and even what to do the day of your departure. (studyabroad.illinois.edu/before-you-go)
The UIUC Study Abroad website (studyabroad.illinois.edu/before-you-go) and the ACES Study Abroad website (academics.aces.illinois.edu/study-abroad/current-students) both provide a variety of pre-departure information. Explore both sites for more information on such as travel plans and what to pack.
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Robert Lee Schooley
W-401B Turner Hall
Urbana Illinois 61801
Phone: (217) 244-2729
ACES Academic Programs
123 Mumford Hall, MC-710
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 333-3380
Walk-in hours: 2-4pm Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9:30-11:30am Wednesdays.
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|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Summer Study Tour||2017||02/15/2017 **||Rolling Admission||06/04/2017||07/29/2017|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed